Monday April 03, 2017
BRITISH bulldog Josh Bates was philosophical after unfortunate Leicester fell short of an early-season scalp in a 45-44 defeat at Wolverhampton.

The Lions roared out of the traps with four chequered flags in the opening seven heats against the defending champions at Monmore Green and led by six points after eight races.

New reserve Bates, 21, weighed in with eight-paid-nine from five outings to back up flying frontrunner Kim Nilsson, who won four out of five.

However, fortune did not favour the brave with Erik Riss excluded from heat three for riding across the centre green and Danny King suffering a mechanical issue at the tapes in heat nine.

Kacper Gomolski and Riss both fell within the opening lap of heat 10 to grant Wolves a 5-0 and despite retaking the lead, Leicester were edged out late on.

“It was a very close meeting,” said Bates. “All of our boys did very well because we knew Wolverhampton would not be an easy place to come to.

“Poole came here last week and got battered but Leicester put up lots of fight, put a good show on and it was a good night.

“It went pretty well for me. I got the set-up wrong at first but I changed it and in the last couple, I had things working nicely.

“Still, Wolverhampton is a hard track. If you’re not riding here every week it takes some getting used to but I am happy with my performance and the result.

“We could have done with one or two more points but we gave it everything. It is what it is.”

Lions head to Somerset for a Knockout Cup first-leg tie on Friday before welcoming Poole Pirates to Beaumont Park in the Premiership on Saturday (both 7.30).

WOLVERHAMPTON 45: Freddie Lindgren 11+2, Sam Masters 10+1, Jacob Thorssell 10, Kyle Howarth 8+1, Adam Skornicki 3+2, Max Clegg 2+1, Nathan Greaves 1.

LEICESTER 44: Kim Nilsson 12, Josh Bates 8+1, Kacper Gomolski 6+2, Erik Riss 6, Danny King 5, Danny Ayres 4+3, Josh Auty 3.


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